Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Introducing the YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular!

Once upon a time I was a little kid and I was terrified of things that go bump in the night, but now that I'm all grown up I love all things scary.  I love scary movies, scary TV shows, and perhaps most of all scary books, and while adult horror is all well and good my favorite is YA horror.  In the past few years YA horror novels have taken off, which means there are more and more of them appearing on the market.  This October (because what better month to celebrate creepy books) I have amassed interviews with over 25 middle grade and YA authors that have books that either came out this year or will come out next year.  Starting tomorrow and every weekday in October there will be an interview up on the blog (sometimes with a giveaway, sometimes without) where the author(s) of a book will answer 15 questions about their newest/upcoming YA horror/thriller novel and about Halloween in general.  Below is the schedule so you know what book/author(s) are going to be featured on what day and below that is a giveaway that will run throughout the entire month of October and into the first few days of November where you will have a chance to win one of the books featured during the event [please make sure to read the rules before you enter!].

I hope you have as much fun reading all of these interviews as I had putting them together, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

October 1st - The Well's End by Seth Fishman
October 2nd - The Cabinet of Curiosities by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne
October 3rd - Don't You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
October 6h - In The End by Demitria Lunetta
October 7th - Welcome To The Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
October 8th - Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff
October 9th - Mercy Mode by Em Garner
October 10th - Sanctum by Madelene Roux
October 13th - Feral by Holly Schindler
October 14th - Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan
October 15th - Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga
October 16th - Get Even by Gretchen McNeil
October 17th - Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake
October 20th - Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
October 21st - Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie
October 22nd - A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd
October 23rd - Shutter by Courtney Alameda
October 24th - Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
October 27th - What Waits in the Woodsby Kieran Scott
October 28th - The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
October 29th - Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
October 30th - The Rules by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
October 31st - Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

If you don't want to add the third/second book to your shelf if you haven't added the first you can just add the first, that will count as an entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to anywhere the book depository ships to (there's a list here).  PLEASE make sure that you leave a correct email address seeing as I'll be emailing the winner for the book they want and their address.  The winner will have a week to respond (seeing as the giveaway ends on a Saturday and I understand people have jobs and school and so get busy), if they don't respond in said amount of time the prize will go to someone else.  Please note that some of these books aren't out yet so if you pick one of those it will be a pre-order and won't be delivered until the day of (or after) the release date, which I will be sure to include in the email to make sure there is no confusion.  I also want to let everyone know that you are free to pick any book in the series should the book be a part of one.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review-Falling Into Place

There are those times when you read a book and you're struck by the beauty of the writing so you sit there reading the words again and again, trying to figure out how that is.  Most of the time when this happens the author is at least in their thirties and has some kind of degree in writing or some kind of experience, but this author is a teenager, she's still in high school, and that just blows my mind.  A lot of writers think that to be successful, to be profound and deep and to resonate with the soul, you need to use big words and long sentences and complex ideas, but that's not true.  This book, it's not overly fancy and pompous, the writing is simple but it still manages to have a sort of rhythm to it that makes it almost like a song.  Reminiscent of Gayle Forman's hit novel If I Stay this book deals with a girl who very well may die in a hospital, and while they both have that lyrical writing style with quotes I wouldn't mind tattooing on my body and a nonlinear style that's about where it ends.  Zhang's novel is told from the point of view of an interesting narrator (I won't say who it is so I don't spoil the surprise) and while it focuses on Liz, the girl possibly dying in the hospital, it also focuses on the impact Liz's choices have on everyone who loves her.  So often I think people get mad a novels with characters who commit suicide (or try to) because they are afraid they will push teenagers suffering from depression over the edge, but while this book shows the main character falling into the situation where she thinks she can't come back from it also shows the effects of her decision, which is something that all books like this do.  And this one does it well.  I'm truly amazed at how the author, this teenage girl, manages to pull all of these things together into her writing and while it didn't leave me sobbing like it did the person who recommended it to me that's okay, because there's beauty in it and I saw that.  Other than the subject matter and the slightly simplistic language used I think the only other thing that might upset people is the main character and her friends.  They're not overly relatable character that you want to be best friends with.  Quite honestly the main character is, on the surface, a terrible person and while her friends aren't quite that bad they're by no means warm and fuzzy, but I think it's important that they are at the center of this novel because it shows that everyone is vulnerable.  We all have secrets and sometimes those that we think have the perfect lives are the ones that need kindness the most.  So while I might not have loved the main characters I still found myself understanding them to some point, which in a book like this is all I think anyone can really ask for.  Bottom line I'm very impressed with Zhang's debut novel and I can't wait to see what she writes next.  Contemporary fans who enjoy a heartfelt book (and maybe a good cry) will probably eat this one up, and I think most people could benefit from it regardless of who they are.  Sometimes it's easy as an adult to forget what it's like to be a teenager, so who better to remind us/you than someone who is a teenager herself?

Out September 9, 2014

4/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Harper Collins for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review-Heir of Fire

Very rarely do I read high fantasy, I find that there are too many characters and too many complicated names to keep track of in a world with too many rules, but last year I decided to read Throne of Glass and was blown away.  I quickly devoured book two and then...I waited.  When I finally got around to starting my precious ARC of Heir of Fire it took me some time to get into, mainly because it had been a good year since I had last read a book in the same world, a very complicated world at that, but soon I got back into the swing of things.  It should have been a quick read despite being over 500 pages but I ended up dragging it out because if you know anything about Sarah Maas you know she has no mercy.  I know perfectly well that in books (and in life) people do not live happily ever after and to make a story there must be conflict.  When it comes to high fantasy generally that conflict involves death.  But when I get so attached to characters I don't like to see them die,  don't like to see them in pain, so I stall.  Which is what I did with this book.  I stalled. But despite all of my stalling I made it to the end, and like I suspected, Maas drove a dagger through my heart.  That sounds bad, but it's not (well, it kind of is but...), the way Maas writes it's just so beautiful that even when I wanted to yell at the main character for this crushing sadness she was enduring that was making her kinda lame I couldn't because it was RIGHT.  And despite everything that happens in this book, and that little voice in the back of my mind going "it didn't have to be this long", I still find myself in awe of the world that has been created and the story that is continuing to unfold.  In the end I didn't care that it was long, I wanted it to be longer, and even the characters you think you'll hate you end up loving (except for the king, no one loves him).  There is, honestly, no other way to describe this book, this series, than to use the word amazing.  You would also have to use the word beautiful too though, because despite the horrors written about in this book, and there are many, you can't help but stop and marvel at the writing.  Hands down I think this is one of the best books I've read this year and probably will end up on my list at the end of the year.  All at the same time I'm stunned I finished it and full of emotion at how everything played out but now I'm just sad because I doubt there will be ARCs for book four which means waiting another year to continue on with this journey and these characters.  Bottom line I will read anything this woman writes and while I hate the fact it seems to take so long for each book to come out if they're all as good (or better) than this one I will be one happy girl when I finally get to sit down with them.  Adult high fantasy fans should check out this series, and if you haven't delved into the genre before YA or otherwise I would highly suggest this series as a starting point because it doesn't get much better (or more heartbreaking) than this.

5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Bloomsbury for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review